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Pres. Tinubu lauds, acknowledges Nigerian media’s contributions to democracy

“We celebrate them today, along with their media establishments such as the Punch, The Guardian, National Concord, Tribune, The News/Tempo, and TELL Magazines. Military authorities proscribed these media establishments and jailed their journalists for standing for free speech and civil liberties.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has acknowledged the significant contributions of the media in standing up against military rule and facilitating its eventual return to democratic governance.

Tinubu also praised the unwavering courage and determination of Nigerian journalists in the face of adversity.

He said this on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, in his broadcast to mark Democracy Day.

He said: “We could not have won the battle against military dictatorship without the irrepressible Nigerian journalists who mounted the barricades along with the pro-democracy activists.

“We celebrate them today, along with their media establishments such as the Punch, The Guardian, National Concord, Tribune, The News/Tempo, and TELL Magazines. Military authorities proscribed these media establishments and jailed their journalists for standing for free speech and civil liberties.

“Despite the lethal might of the military government, what appeared to be high and unyielding walls of dictatorship came tumbling down. The dismal fortress exists no longer.

“The power of an idea, the power of the people proved more potent than all the guns and munitions, and the threats of the strongmen.”

The president said that Nigeria’s democratic principles are built on the foundation of free, fair, and transparent elections.

He added that true democracy empowers individuals, fostering a life of freedom, liberty, and personal growth where people can express their thoughts, choose their residence, and pursue their legitimate aspirations without hindrance.

He said that genuine democracy enriches daily life by affording citizens the liberty to think critically, reside in their preferred locations, and pursue their lawful passions, thereby fostering a life of freedom, autonomy, and personal fulfilment.

He said: “Democracy does not assume some false or forced unity of opinion. In fact, democracy assumes that conflicting ideas and differing opinions shall be the order of the day. Given the diversity and variety of the human experience, there must be diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

“My dear compatriots, Nigeria faced a decision of untold gravity twenty-five years ago: whether to veer towards a better destination or continue aimlessly in the fog of dictatorship. We made the right choice then. We must continue with that choice now.”

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